The Avignon Quintet

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The Avignon Quintet
Author Lawrence Durrell
Country Great Britain
Language English
Series The Avignon Quintet
Genre Novel
Publisher Faber & Faber (UK) & Viking (US)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 1376 p. (Faber edition)
ISBN 0-571-22555-1 (paperback edition)
OCLC 173163835
Preceded by The Revolt of Aphrodite
Followed by Caesar's Vast Ghost

The Avignon Quintet is a five-volume series of novels by British writer Lawrence Durrell, published between 1974 and 1985. The novels are openly metafictional and reflect the developments in experimental fiction following after Durrell's previous The Alexandria Quartet. The action of the novels is set before and during World War II, largely in France, Egypt, and Switzerland.

The novels range among multiple and contradictory narrators, often with each purporting to have written the others, and the thematic materials range from a form of Gnosticism[1] blended with Catharism, obsession with mortality, Nazism, and World War II to Grail Romances, metafiction, Quantum Mechanics,[2] and sexual identity.

The five novels are:

Durrell often referred to the work as a "quincunx", and the books were only published together as The Avignon Quintet in 1992, two years after Durrell's death in 1990, although they are described as such in the first edition of Quinx. The notion of the quincunx challenges any linear approach to the novels, which is reflected in their stylistic features. The character Livia may be modeled in part on Unity Mitford, a prominent supporter of fascism and friend of Adolf Hitler.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Gifford, James (2004-05-26). "Gnosticism in Lawrence Durrell's Monsieur: New Textual Evidence for Source Materials". Agora. Retrieved 2007-11-20. .
  2. ^ Lorenz, Paul (1997-01-01). "Quantum Mechanics and the Shape of Fiction: "Non-Locality" in the Avignon Quincunx". Weber Studies vol. 14 no. 1. Retrieved 2007-12-04. .